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Charles County will highlight several restaurants during the first-ever Celebrate Charles: Restaurant Week April 1-7.

The lineup currently includes Dale’s Smokehouse in Indian Head, The Prime Street Grille in White Plains, Port Tobacco Restaurant in Port Tobacco, Boston’s The Gourmet Pizza Restaurant & Sports Bar in Waldorf, Lefty’s Barbecue Unlimited in Waldorf, Rita’s Italian Ice in La Plata and Brasas Rotisserie and Grill in Waldorf.

Coordinated by the Office of Tourism, the week will feature tasty offerings and unique dining experiences that draw on the region’s bounty, a news release from the county states.

Participating restaurants will offer fixed-price, multi-course meals or specially priced single dishes. Tax, gratuity and beverages are not included in the price. Restaurants still will offer their regular menus during the promotional week.

Go to www.CharlesCountyMD.gov for full event details, including restaurant menus and frequently asked questions.

For more information, contact Rachel Reynolds at 301-645-0601 or reynoldsr@ charlescounty.org.

Potomac River watershed cleanup set

The Alice Ferguson Foundation is asking local residents to go green to help keep the river clean at the 25th annual Potomac River watershed cleanup from 9 a.m. to noon April 6.

In addition to new shoreline sites, community and adopt-a-road groups also are encouraged to participate. It is an excellent opportunity for student and scout community service hours, according to a news release from the Charles County government.

For details, call 301-932-3599 or go to www.PotomacCleanup.org.

Household hazardous waste collection April 6

A household hazardous waste collection will be 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 6 in the parking lot of the Charles County Department of Public Works building at 10430 Audie Lane off of Radio Station Road in La Plata.

Items accepted free of charge include pesticides, herbicides, fertilizer, gasoline, oil-based paint, cleaning supplies, pool chemicals, batteries, expired prescription drugs, fluorescent lights, mercury thermometers and other poisons found in the home. Remember to mark any container that does not have a readable, original label.

Unacceptable materials include biomedical waste (sharps, needles, anything with bodily fluids) and ammunition.

Used motor oil, anti-freeze, propane tanks and batteries are accepted on a regular basis at various collection sites.

Latex paint is not considered hazardous waste and can be placed in the household trash as long as it is solidified by adding kitty litter, shredded paper or sawdust to the liquid latex paint to aid in drying it out.

Household hazardous waste collection will occur on the first Saturday of each month through December.

Call 301-932-3599 or 301-870-2778, or the landfill and recycling information line at 301-932-5656.

CCSO bike ride to benefit charities rescheduled

The Charles County Sheriff’s Office bike ride to benefit the United Way of Charles County and the Spring Dell Center will be held at 10 a.m. March 23 at the scenic Indian Head hiker-biker trail. Registration opens at 9 a.m. at the Village Green Pavilion at 100 Walter Thomas Road in Indian Head. Registration fees are $25 for individual riders, $40 for families of two, $50 for families of three and $15 for each member of a family of four or more.

Go to www.facebook.com/ccsomd.

Beautification project kickoff set

Charles County invites citizens to attend the Waldorf Beautification Project kickoff event at 3 p.m. March 23 at the VanGO stop at the intersection of Crain Highway and Smallwood Drive West near the St. Charles Towne Center mall.

Commissioners’ Vice President Reuben B. Collins II (D) will announce plans for the Waldorf Beautification Project, a new initiative that will bring everyone together to stop littering.

“I’ve waited a long time to jump-start this project, and I appreciate the endorsement and approval of the County Commissioners and the community,” Collins said in a county news release.

“This is just the beginning. We will have many phases of the Waldorf Beautification Project, and awareness of the anti-littering portion is a vital part.”

The Charles County government hybrid Ford Escape will be filled with giveaways, including seedlings and vehicle litter bags.

Contact Crystal Hunt at 301-645-0580 or huntc@charlescounty.org.

Health dept. announces start of percolation tests

The Charles County Department of Health announced that wet season soil evaluations for new home septic system designs began March 11.

As a result of the current depressed groundwater levels, a 6-foot treatment zone for conventional systems and a 4-foot treatment zone for mound systems will be used.

Call 301-609-6751.

Farmers market sets opening day

Opening day for the farmers market at O’Donnell Lake Restaurant Park at 10400 O’Donnell Place in Waldorf is 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 4.

The Wednesday market opens 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 8.

Fresh lettuce, asparagus, strawberries and plants for the yard and garden will be available during the early weeks of the market, according to information provided by The St. Charles Cos.

CSM spring break this week

Credit students at the College of Southern Maryland will be on spring break this week.

All campuses and facilities will be closed March 20 through March 24. The college will resume its normal schedule March 25.

Access to the college’s online services remains available at www.csmd.edu.

Community Services GUIDE available

The Charles County Department of Community Services Spring edition of The Guide is available at www.CharlesCountyParks.com.

Printed copies are available at local community centers, indoor pools, the Elite Gymnastics and Recreation Center, and the Department of Community Services. Online registration for most programs is available.

For more information on other events and opportunities offered by the Department of Community Services, go to www.CharlesCountyMD.gov/CS or call 301-934-9305 or 301-870-3388.

Grant workshop scheduled

Caroline Herbert of the Foundation Center, a Washington, D.C., nonprofit, will present a two-hour workshop on finding funding and writing grant proposals for a nonprofit organization from 1 to 3 p.m. April 12 at the Prince Frederick library at 805 Costley Way.

The workshop is designed to provide an introduction to the steps involved in finding funders and preparing grant proposals.

Learn tips for effective funding research and the key components of a proposal to a foundation.

The workshop will cover how the proposal fits into the overall grant-seeking process, how to develop targeted lists of foundations that will match an organization’s funding needs, what to include in a standard proposal to a foundation, tips for making each section of your proposal stronger, and what funders expect to see in a proposal and attachments.

Registration is required. Call Cathey Moffatt-Bush or Robbie McGaughran at 410-535-0291.

Submit recipes for Buy Local Challenge

The Maryland Department of Agriculture invites chefs using local Maryland ingredients to submit original recipes for the annual Buy Local Cookout, which will be held at Government House in Annapolis from 7 to 9 p.m. July 25.

Recipes must be submitted by May 6 and include products from at least one Maryland farmer, waterman or other producer.

This year, chefs are being asked to submit simple but creative recipes that showcase ways the average Maryland family can prepare delicious, nutritious meals with locally produced food at home.

The cookout promotes the statewide Buy Local Challenge Week July 20 to 28, during which all Marylanders are encouraged to eat at least one local product each day.

Recipes will be chosen in the categories of appetizer, main dish, side dish or salad, dessert and beverage.

Selected teams will be invited to provide, prepare and share their dish at the cookout. Chefs should note that recipes may be published in the Maryland Department of Agriculture’s 2013 Maryland Buy Local Cookout Recipes cookbook.

Complete rules of entry and additional information are posted at http://mda.maryland.gov/Documents/2013_Recipe_Guidelines.pdf.

Recipes should be submitted online at https://mdamarketing.wufoo.com/forms/2013-governor-omalleys-buy-local-cookout.